‘Animal production face significant challenges in curbing GHG emissions’

Ireland will take part in the European Joint Action on novel technologies, solutions and systems to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of animal production systems.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, confirmed the news in recent days.

The call recognises that a movement towards greater sustainability of livestock production systems will not only require innovative scientific endeavour, but must also incorporate all relevant economic, social and environmental dimensions if meaningful results are to be achieved, the department explained.

The Joint Action has been initiated under the ERA-NETs FACCE ERA-GAS, SusAn and ICT-AGRI 2 and funding is provided by participating member states.

In the case of Ireland, funding for these awards is provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Competitive Research Programme in partnership with Teagasc’s Walsh Fellowship Programme.

Commenting on the move, Minister Creed said: “Systems of animal production in Europe face significant challenges in curbing GHG emissions while maintaining food security and demand in a changing climate.

“Today’s research funding announcement will make a significant contribution to strengthening the collaborations of Irish research institutions with their international counterparts and help accelerate Ireland’s efforts in meeting these shared challenges.”

As part of the joint call, particular emphasis will reportedly be placed on incorporating innovative livestock management, novel technologies, systems (including information and communications technology), decision support tools, robotics and intelligent data analyses with the express intent of producing a meaningful impact on GHG emission within a five-year time frame.

In addition, funded projects must address a combination of at least two of the calls specific research themes, the department added.

These themes include:
  • Theme one: The “holistic theme” – Agro-ecological approach to whole animal production systems;
  • Theme two: The “technical theme” – Technical options for the monitoring and mitigation of GHG emissions from animal production systems;
  • Theme three: The “societal theme” – Social and/or economic approach to livestock production and consumption of animal products.

Concluding, Minister Creed said: “This type of research is vital to ensuring the economic, social and environmental sustainability of animal production systems.”